Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

Travel, people & food storyteller with 63 million+ reads since 2012 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

Johor Tomahawk Steak at Lazio Italian Restaurant and Bar

Johor_Tomahawk_Steak

When Stanley, Lazio's Executive Chef invited me to try his Tomahawk steak, I took a double take. What's that lethal weapon? Well, when I saw Stanley with that huge cut of rib-eye, Tomahawk is a very apt description indeed 😄 Tomahawk is that fearsome Apache Indian battle axe. That Tomahawk steak should send chills down the spine of cholesterol and calorie fearing mortals 😄

Ayam Penyet at Banafee Cafe in Johor Bahru

Johor-Ayam-Penyet-Banafee-Cafe

Every time I asked friends and Johor Kaki readers to recommend ayam penyet stalls in JB, Banafee café is always among the favourites mentioned. So, I made a trip there to check it out today.


Johor Ayam Penyet at LC Catering in Taman Melodies in JB

Ayam-Penyet

While looking for the best ayam penyet, I realised that there are many ways to fry a good chicken leg! And, each style has it's own appeal. LC Catering's style of ayam penyet has it's fans - I like it too :)

Johor-Ayam-Penyet-LC-Catering

Restaurant name: LC Catering
Address: 340, Jalan Balau 1 (off Jalan Tebrau), Taman Melodies, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/NBdxC
GPS: 1.490226,103.766871
Hours: 10:00am to 3:00am
Halal

Ayam-Penyet

At LC Catering, the fried chicken is not battered and there are no fried crummy bits scattered around. The fresh chicken leg precooked in coconut juice is deep fried without batter and skin, when there is an order.

The skinless leg is fried till golden brown and forms a stiff crisp outer layer. Overall, the meat is fairly dry though there is still some moisture remaining inside. As you can see, there is hardly any excess oil on the chicken leg - a plus point.

The chicken's flavours were slight. I ripped the quite dry meat easily off the bones and scooped sambal chili with it much like the way we eat keropok or French fries. The outer layer is a little stringy. Personally, I find this style likeable and there are other people who prefer this over others.

Johor-Ayam-Penyet

The sambal chili is a key element in the ayam penyet set. The sambal was pulpy, tangy from fresh limes, mildly spicy for my tastebuds and slightly savoury from the belacan (dried fermented shrimps).

The sides of fried tempeh and toufu were average. The greens were fresh with my favourites of crunchy kacang botol, long beans and a stalk of fragrant leafy green.

This ayam penyet is understated and free of frills, and charming because of that.

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You can have a choice of local white rice or upgrade to this premium biryani rice.

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I opted for this nasi serai which is premium grade rice cooked with fragrant lemongrass. The ayam penyet nasi serai set costs RM8.50.

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LC Catering is clean, spacious and airy. There is also an air conditioned section.

->> The place for dry and crispy fried chicken with "power" sambal chili.

Date visited: 24 Oct 2013

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Johor Mee Rebus Hj Wahid at Zainal Place in JB Malaysia

Johor-Mee-Rebus-Hj-Wahid-Zainal-Place

Hj Wahid mee rebus is one of the JB local favourites. The Hj Wahid brand of mee rebus is now sold in many shops and stalls throughout Johor, and even in Putrajaya by members of the family. Zainal Place's version of Hj Wahid mee rebus is among the best known.

Johor Satay at Al Mizan Satay House

Johor-Satay-Al-Mizan-Satay-House

There has been a lot of buzz among Johor Sedap members about Al Mizan Satay House recently - one of JB's finest and oldest founded in 1973. So, foodie buddy Kumes and I decided to pop by Al Mizan for a visit.

Stall name: Almizan Satay House


Address: PTD 64399, jalan tebrau kg.ubi, Taman Persiaran Ekoperniagaan, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia


Tel: +607 336 3315


Hours: 3:30pm - 11:00pm (Thurs off)

Johor Coconut in a Lorry on Taman Pelangi

Johor-Coconut-Lorry-Taman-Pelangi

In tropical Johor, nothing is better than cold fresh coconut juice in beating the often sweltering heat. Fortunately for JB folks, there are street side coconut stalls offering instant relief from the scorching sun at an affordable price. My foodie buddy Kumes showed me his regular coconut lorry in Taman Pelangi. He has been getting his coconut fix from this lorry stall for over a decade.

Johor-Coconut-Truck-Taman-Pelangi

Restaurant name: Borong Kelapa Pandan (street side, lorry back)
Address: 71, Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi (just outside Thong Yee Thong reflexology centre), Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/UYvXn
GPS: 1.483533,103.775386
Hours: 12:00noon to 10:00pm (but often sold out by 6:00pm)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Johor-Coconut-Lorry-Taman-Pelangi

The coconuts on display on a simple makeshift wooden stand waiting for customers.

Johor-Coconut-Truck-Taman-Pelangi

Besides those coconuts on display, there are plenty more at the back of the lorry.

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Place your order at RM3 for a coconut and go back to your plastic chair and flimsy folding table by the roadside. The worker will open the chilled coconut with a couple of quick slashes and deliver the neatly opened coconut to you in a minute :)

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Both of these coconuts are the same price (RM3:00) though they look like big and small brothers. Kumes said we can choose the particular coconut that we want, if we are concerned about the size. In the end, size didn't really matter because both coconuts have about the same volume of coconut juice :)

Johor-Coconut-Lorry-Taman-Pelangi

The precious chilled sweet nectar - good to the last drop. We really enjoyed this.

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Johor-Coconut-Lorry-Taman-Pelangi

I love scrapping the pearly white and creamy coconut flesh off the inside of the coconut. The flesh of the bigger coconut was a little harder while that from the smaller one was smoother and more tender. I had to literary dig the flesh off the bigger coconut while the meat of the smaller coconut come off like fine shavings when I scrapped it with the spoon. Both types of flesh are enjoyable in different ways.

Johor-Coconut-Lorry-Taman-Pelangi

The workers were super friendly. This pose was completely unplanned and spontaneous. I was making my request in painfully intelligible Bahasa but the workers instantly understood and obliged cheerfully. Made my day :) Terima Kasih Bang!

Date visited: 20 Oct 2013

Singapore Best Food - Old Geylang Restaurant

Old-Geylang-Restaurant

I got a WhatsApp message from my blogger friend Derrick while I was in Shanghai, combing the city for hairy crabs, soup buns and braised pork knuckles. Derrick invited me to join him at Old Geylang Restaurant in Singapore. Well, I quickly accepted because the words "Old" and "Geylang" struck a chord with me instantly. Read more.

Singapore Best Food - Nasi Ambeng at Mamanda Restaurant

Nasi-Ambeng-Mamanda

I am a big fan of Nasi Ambeng because I love Malay food and I enjoy communal style eating very much. So, when Ahmad from Mamanda Restaurant in Singapore invited me to taste their Nasi Ambeng, I was excited to give it a try and looked forward to it in great anticipation. It turned out to be a great dining, cultural and social experience, something that I would recommend to everyone. Read more.

Johor Best Cakes - The Sugar Pantry in Permas Jaya, JB

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Good words about Sugar Pantry in Permas Mall (near JUSCO Permas) has been spreading fast, though the cake shop is less than a year old. I visited Sugar Pantry at the invitation of the owners, Heng and Yen.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Restaurant: The Sugar Pantry
Address: G-03, Blk B, Permas Mall, 03 Jalan Permas Utara, Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/riT6h
GPS: 1.497335,103.817393
Hours: 12:00 noon to 10:00pm
Non Halal

Sugar pantry is a small, simply laid out shop. Air conditioned, bright, very clean and neat. The decor is minimalist yet cosy. It has a few very inviting, dark blue velvet high back arm chairs which I forgot to take photos of :P

Johor-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Sugar pantry is like a cake showroom. Their cakes are very appealing visually. You could tell they are premium cakes just by looking at their vibrant colours, carefully sculpted designs and the pride in displaying them in the best light. Clearly a lot of heart and soul as well as hard work have gone into creating these works of art. The best thing is, Sugar Pantry's premium cakes are also reasonably priced.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-PantryJohor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Yen is the artist behind these works of art. Yen is a Le Cordon Bleu Paris trained pastry chef.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

She was the chef in charge of Les Amis' pastry section and a partner in Pavé Chocolates and Confections in Katong (Singapore) before returning to JB to open Sugar Pantry with her husband Heng.

To me, sugar pantry is like a jewelry shop with beautiful handcrafted trinkets on display. The owner is like an artist making the pieces of art. Only difference is Sugar Pantry's artwork is edible, wrong, they are delicious. The thing is, they look so beautiful I did feel a tinge of heartache when I stabbed the cake with my fork.

Yen takes great pride in her cakes. Everything is made at the shop from scratch even the Blueberry and Strawberry jam. This is possible only when there is passion.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry-Permas-Jaya

Yen uses only natural ingredients like their vanilla which she makes from vanilla pods from Madagascar.

We tried a few of Yen's cakes. They were just the right sweetness and not sugary.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

I love tea scones, that quintessentially English pastry because I like the blend of sweet homemade jam and savoury butter flavours as well as the warmness and soft graininess of the pastry.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Éclair au Confiture de Fraise. Don't worry, that whipped cream has body without being heavy and greasy.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Yen is proud of this Nutty Putty (RM11.90) made with milk chocolate and coconut topped with peanut.

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-PantryJohor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Miso, Blueberry and Matcha flavoured macaroons. Yen is a big macaroon fan. She used to eat macaroons for her main meal when she was in Le Cordon Bleu Paris.

We have no more stomach space left to try the following but take a look at Yen's art. Don't they look like jewels?

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Bundle of Sunshine RM9.90

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Claire RM9.90

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Mont Blanc RM14.90

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Paris Brest RM11.90

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Ichigo RM11.90

Johor-Best-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Mille crepe

We shall definitely be back to sample these.

Johor-Cakes-Sugar-Pantry
Cappuccino RM7.90

I always love a robust Cappuccino with my sweet cakes.

Johor-Best-Cakes-The-Sugar-Pantry

Sugar Pantry also serves fresh juices and cocktails to go with their cakes. This one named Kiwi Bird and Pandan Bear (RM11.90) is made with Kiwi fruit, lime, Pandan syrup and fizzy (no alcohol).

The Sugar Pantry is a nice place to chill out with good cakes and coffee.


Date visited: 16 Oct 2013

Johor Ayam Penyet at Penyet World Express in Taman Setia Tropika, Johor Bahru

Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru

Today, I found a good ayam penyet place in Setia Tropika thanks to the invite from JJ, one of the partners of Penyet World Express which serves delicious Indonesian street food in a simple yet comfortable setting.

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Restaurant name: Penyet World Express
Address: 14, Jalan Tropika 1/1, Taman Setia Tropika, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/z1YzL
GPS: 1.544679,103.710669
Hours: 11:30am to 10:00pm
Halal cert in process

Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika

Inside Penyet World Express (PWE), it is comfortable, air conditioned, clean and neat. I like the colour theme here because apple green is my favourite colour :) It's such a calming and cheerful colour.

Johor-Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika
Ayam Penyet Traditional RM8.90

My friends will tell you that I am a crazy fan of ayam penyet. I can have ayam penyet everyday for a week for lunch at my favourite stall in Singapore near my old office.

Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru

Ayam penyet is made by smacking the deep fried chicken during the last stage of the dish's preparation, hence the name ayam penyet which is "flattened chicken" in Indonesian.

Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru
Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru

At PWE, chicken is coated with a crispy golden brown batter that keeps the inside of the meat moist and tender. We can taste the chicken's sweet natural juices.

Johor Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru

PWE's ayam penyet comes with the usual tempeh and raw crunchy vegetables which are very clean and fresh.

Ayam-Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika

PWE's sambal chili really kicks butts. It's an interesting blend of spiciness but it is not overly sharp or hot. It is made with a combination different varieties of chili peppers blended together.

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The rice is a key element of good ayam penyet and yet the dish is often let down by use of poorer quality rice that are starchy and stuck together in wet clumps. PWE uses quality long grain fragrant rice.

I really love PWE's ayam penyet. It is actually better than my old favourite in Singapore which I used to eat nearly everyday.

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Sotong Penyet RM8.90

Sotong penyet is the second top seller at PWE. At PWE, we can choose to have either the traditional raw vegetables or potato wedges and fries to go with our main dish. For our sotong penyet, we opted for the fries and wedges.

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Ikan Penyet RM7.90

Besides ayam penyet, I am a big fan of ikan penyet. PWE's ikan penyet is excellent. JJ told me that customers often finish everything on the plate, leaving only the fish's backbone. JJ said that even the head is often eaten :)

Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika-Johor-Bahru

Actually, that doesn't surprise me at all as that is also how I eat my ikan penyet :) The fish is so crispy, it is like keropok.

Penyet-World-Express-Taman-Setia-Tropika

Fried eggplant or brinjal. PWE's signature batter does magic with every ingredient. The fried eggplant is crunchy crispy outside and soft and savoury inside. It's like a pisang goreng made with eggplant. I like this.

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Fried bakso (beef balls).

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Whole spring chicken RM17.90

PWE's popular spring chicken.


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Coconut Shake RM4.90

This coconut shake is a "must try". Made from fresh fragrant coconuts, the creamy cold refreshing drink goes very well with fried and spicy food.

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Bandung Soda RM3

I like this Bandung soda which is a slightly fizzy drink with real pandan flavour.

Johor-Tehbotol

If you have an Indonesian Tehbotol craving, you can get your fix here at RM2 a pack.

PWE is an excellent place for a simple yet delicious lunch or dinner.

Date visited: 17 Oct 2013